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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Could the UK end up in court over the single market?

There is an interesting article in today's Independent which once more exposes the lies fed to us by the Brexiteers during the referendum campaign and since.

The paper suggests that Britain risks a new Brexit fight in international courts if it tries to quit the EU’s single market without giving other countries official notice:

Legal experts, including one who advised the Treasury, agree Theresa May will leave the UK open to legal action in The Hague if she pulls out of the European Economic Area (EEA) without formally telling its other members 12 months in advance, to avoid disrupting their trade.

The notice is demanded by an international agreement, but ministers do not intend to follow the process because, insiders believe, they want to avoid a Commons vote on staying in the EEA – and, therefore, the single market – that they might lose.

As well as the a court battle, experts warn the stigma from breaking the agreement could also make it harder for Britain to secure the trade deals it desperately needs to secure the economy after Brexit.

Pro-EU MPs hope the legal opinion will help persuade the Commons to force and win the vote on staying in the EEA planned for the autumn.

The Government has insisted EEA membership will end automatically with EU withdrawal but former Treasury legal adviser Charles Marquand, said: “A failure by the UK to give notice of its intention to leave would, I think, be a breach of the EEA Agreement, which is an international treaty.”

The barrister said it was difficult to predict how another EEA states might seek to take action, if it believed its single market rights had been removed wrongly. But he added: “I believe there is a potential for international proceedings. One possibility is the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.”

Yet another mess that this incompetent government is leading us into.
It is not generally realised that the Tories' stance would take us back not just the 44 years since we joined the EU in 1973 but also to the days before we co-founded the European Free Trade Area in 1960.
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